Skip to main content

Questions tagged [vowel-quantity]

For questions about vowel length.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
11 votes
3 answers
741 views

Latin minimal pairs, distinguished only by the length of the vowel in an unstressed non-last syllable

I'm thinking about which diacritics to use in Latin to give pronunciation hints without writing the length of all the vowels (which I find very noisy). My main aim is to avoid homographs that are not ...
user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
115 views

Which vowel lengths and stressed syllables are marked in the Vatican Lexicon?

I noticed that the following are marked in the Parvum verborum novatorum léxicum: the (ante)penultimate vowel when it is long by nature (ovorum intrīta), the antepenultimate syllable when it is ...
user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
64 views

Vowel length of the first "i" of "VIRIDIS"

Could anyone tell me if the first "i" of "VIRIDIS" (green), the one between "v" and "r", is long or short? Thanks in advance for your help.
Olavo Panseri's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
586 views

Septīmus or septĭmus?

In the past, I'd vaguely assumed that the word for "seventh" was septīmus, because we see an i instead of an e in the Romance languages (Italian settimo, French septime, etc). However, Lewis ...
Draconis's user avatar
  • 68.3k
3 votes
1 answer
97 views

Do fourth-declension neuter nouns end in -ŭ or -ū?

From this answer: Note that the nominative neuter ending -u might have been pronounced either as -ŭ or -ū; it seems that we don't have any clear evidence either way for the quality of the vowel in ...
Draconis's user avatar
  • 68.3k
5 votes
1 answer
360 views

What is "an agreeable succession of long and short syllables"?

I am currently (re)reading Allen and Greenough's Latin Grammar and I am somewhat confused by the end of paragraph 601 on the structure of the Period. f. The Romans were careful to close a period with ...
user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
140 views

Which vowel lengths to mark when writing in Latin?

In my writings, I would like to indicate short and long vowels when ambiguities might arise (mainly between nominative/ablative and vocative/adverb). Is there a common/attested way of doing this ...
user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
193 views

Unexpected long vowels in Plautus before a word-final T

In a comment to my answer on a vowel length question, Vincent Krebs pointed out that Plautus does not follow the classical rules that I laid out: Plautus does not always shorten the vowel before -t. ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
285 views

Vowel Quantity in Third Person Plural of Passive Voice

Cārī collēgae, The third person plural of the passive voice in the present stem has a peculiarity that I noticed a couple of weeks ago (far later than I should have, I might add) and have been curious ...
Emma Neureiter's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
616 views

Why does the length of a vowel before verb endings change?

I'm learning Latin and I see that the stem I am supposed to add things onto keeps changing from long to short and back again. For example, take teneō, tenēre, tenuī, tentum. As I see the present ...
John Matthew's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
146 views

In L&S, why are some vowels neither short nor long?

In Lewis and Short, some vowels aren't marked. For example in this entry (chosen at random) dŭŏ-dē-vīginti, card. num., eighteen, Plaut. Poen. 4, 2, 74 sq.; Cic. Ac. 2, 41, 128; id. Rep. 2, 22; Caes. ...
user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
196 views

Short vs long i in inest vs īnsunt

Why is the i in inest short, while the i in īnsunt is long? As far as I know (see for example https://glosbe.com/la/en/insum, or LLPSI), the conjugation of this verb in the present tense goes like ...
Florianus's user avatar
  • 483
4 votes
1 answer
161 views

What are the vowel quantities in “einsteinianus”?

If I am correct, the adjective derived from the last name of Albert Einstein is “einsteinianus, -a, -um” (it is similar in Italian, Spanish and Portuguese). I know that the suffix is “-ānus” but how ...
user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
643 views

What is the correct vowel quantity for words formed from sĭ̄gn-?

My dictionary (Latinsk ordbok – latinsk–norsk, Cappelen, Oslo 2007) has for all instances of words with sĭ̄gn- a long ī, e.g.: īnsīgniō, 4. īnsīgnis, adj. m. komp. (sīgnum) īnsīgne, is, n. sīgnātē, ...
Canned Man's user avatar
  • 3,349
1 vote
1 answer
47 views

About stress marks and conventions

I've followed an advice about studying stress marks. I find very elegant putting all the breves and macrons. But, in differents dictionaries several conventions are used. For example, the word consŭl, ...
Diego Velasco's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
180 views

Sapphic metre in Catullus 51.10

I am trying to understand the metre of Catullus 51, and this line has me baffled: tintinant aurēs, gemina teguntur The standard sapphic eleven-foot metre is – ⏑ – ⏓ – ⏑ ⏑ – ⏑ – –, that is 𝅘𝅥 𝅘𝅥𝅮𝅘𝅥 (𝅘𝅥...
Canned Man's user avatar
  • 3,349
7 votes
2 answers
1k views

Is it rare to elide the final vowel if it is long?

In the Ars Poetica we find the line: posse linenda cedro et levi servanda cupresso which pedecerto scans as Pṓssĕ lĭnḗndă cĕdro‿ḗt lēuī́ sēruā́ndă cŭprḗsso In C.O. Brink's commentary on Horace we ...
bobsmith76's user avatar
  • 2,309
9 votes
1 answer
328 views

Knowing the two quantities of 'est'

There are several forms of ĕsse and ēsse (= edere) that only differ by the quantity of the initial vowel, perhaps the most common one being ĕst/ēst. How do we know this difference in quantities? ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
136 views

Why is ū long in "Vitruvius"?

Lewis & Short and Gaffiot's dictionaries both mark long ū in the name Vitrūvius. How do we know this, and do we know the reason for it? In my experience, most words with the sequence -uvi- + vowel ...
Asteroides's user avatar
  • 29.7k
10 votes
1 answer
250 views

Was vowel quantity observed when singing?

It's well established that vowel length was phonemic in Latin, and that it played an important role in poetic verse. It seems probable to me that it also mattered when singing, but do we have evidence ...
Florianus's user avatar
  • 483
5 votes
1 answer
726 views

Why is the prefix con- sometimes short, sometimes long?

A friend sent me this image: Her question was simple: Is the Latin any good? The Latin indeed is good, and if one accepts the English to be in LOLcat, the English checks out as well. However … I also ...
Canned Man's user avatar
  • 3,349
5 votes
1 answer
164 views

Compensative lengthening of ε and ο to η and ω in Homeric Greek

In the grammar section of Pharr and Wright’s Homeric Greek section 601, the following is stated: The loss of one or more consonants in a word usually occasions the lengthening of the preceding vowel. ...
Canned Man's user avatar
  • 3,349
-2 votes
2 answers
2k views

How did Caesar pronounce Latin overlined vowels?

I am a beginner with Latin and am confused about the overlined vowels. The textbook I have explains these via vowels of English words, but I think that is unsatisfactory, because when learning other ...
Commenter's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
324 views

Syllable and mora count for long vowel with iota subscript?

Introduction I have begun learning Ancient Greek with the revised edition of Clyde Pharr’s work. Some of the case endings are (as expected) slightly different than what I have seen to be the case in ...
Canned Man's user avatar
  • 3,349
4 votes
1 answer
61 views

Can vowel length be detected somehow in prose?

There are some words that appear to be complete homonyms other than by the length of a vowel. For example, there is the word labellum, which can mean either a lip (part of the body) or a basin/sink. ...
Tyler Durden's user avatar
  • 7,359
8 votes
3 answers
443 views

What is the correct vowel quantity for the participle of legō?

In the following, vowel quantities which I am uncertain of, will be marked with both a breve and a macron, so they should not be considered the answer; that is what I am searching for. This whole ...
Canned Man's user avatar
  • 3,349
4 votes
1 answer
104 views

Which is correct? Eugenius or Eugenīus or both?

Checking the dictionary entries for Eugenius, I was surprised to find different vowel quantities depending on whether it was the adjective or the noun. As you can see from the screenshot above, ...
Canned Man's user avatar
  • 3,349
6 votes
1 answer
650 views

The correct use of the breve in Latin

Correct me if I'm wrong. There are 6 diphthongs in Latin: ae au ei eu oe ui So if one were to encounter ăĕ it would follow that both vowels would be short and do not together form diphthong which ...
bobsmith76's user avatar
  • 2,309
5 votes
2 answers
443 views

Does vowel quantity ever change in the root of a word during conjugation?

I have built a database of Latin words but am having a few problems. I have two databases, one is from Python's CLTK, the other is from online-latin-dictionary.com (OLD). The Python database is ...
bobsmith76's user avatar
  • 2,309
3 votes
2 answers
298 views

Inconsistent use of short and long vowel signs

To my knowledge every vowel is either long, short or belongs to a diphthong, there are no vowels which are medium in length. If a vowel belongs to a diphthong, it seems that modern writers will mark ...
bobsmith76's user avatar
  • 2,309
5 votes
2 answers
372 views

Why is the root vowels of 'salsus' and 'saliō' from 'sāl' shortened?

Working my way through the Duolingo course, I noticed that salsus has a short root vowel, even though sāl, sālis¹ is long-voweled. The etymology entry on Wiktionary states that the adjective is from ...
Canned Man's user avatar
  • 3,349
9 votes
2 answers
1k views

Is the 'i' in 'videt' long or short?

I am currently reading Ørberg’s Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata, where he thankfully makes use of the macron to distinguish long vowels form short ones. However, and I have seen this elsewhere as well,...
Thomas Wening's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
64 views

Why does ‘lūdīs’ end in a short syllable in Ov. Ep. Sapph. 16?

In Ovid’s Epistulae 16.152–153, the following two lines are found (‘eligiac couplet’, I believe is the term in English): mṓre tuǽ gentī́s nitidā́ dum nū́da palǽstrā̆    lū́dis et és ...
Canned Man's user avatar
  • 3,349
7 votes
1 answer
148 views

Is there a dictionary for pronunciation explanations?

All dictionaries I have seen that state vowel quantities simply state them but do not explain how the quantity of each vowel was determined. The same goes for the distinctions between vocalic and ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
392 views

Did Latin ever have a rule of lengthening vowels in monosyllables ending in /s/?

I was surprised by the following portion of "Exceptions to rhotacism", by Kyle Gorman (2012): Latin has a bimoraic minimal word requirement, implemented by a process of Subminimal ...
Asteroides's user avatar
  • 29.7k
8 votes
3 answers
781 views

Vowel shortening before another vowel: Exceptions

I am rather ashamed to admit that I used to pronounce Alexandrea (or Alexandria, cf. Ἀλεξάνδρεια) incorrectly in Latin, that is I mistakenly applied the famous rule "vocalis ante vocalem ...
Alex B.'s user avatar
  • 11.7k
9 votes
1 answer
274 views

How do I know if there's an "invisible yod"?

I've been told that the first syllable of abiciō is long by position, because it's actually an underlying *abjiciō, which causes it to be syllabified as *ab-ji-ci-ō before the *ji simplifies to i. So ...
Draconis's user avatar
  • 68.3k
5 votes
1 answer
198 views

Found eius but pēius in the same text: is it some kind of mistake?

While I was reading Lingua Latina per se Illustrata - Familia Romana, I noted something: the vocabulary list has ĕius but pēius, is that by accident? Also I noted meī as mēī in line 92 of chapter 25, ...
SlayerGames44's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
80 views

Are the two types of lustra distinguishable?

One meaning of the word lustrum is a sacrifice for purification done every five years; another is a house of ill repute. I'd always figured that the two were complete homophones. However, someone ...
Draconis's user avatar
  • 68.3k
6 votes
1 answer
714 views

Under what conditions can "length by position" occur, and what does it actually mean?

I am studying Latin and one of the definitions in my textbook is kind of confusing. A syllable can be long in one of two ways: Length by nature. If the syllable contains a long vowel or ...
James's user avatar
  • 69
4 votes
2 answers
303 views

How long is a banana?

The word banana and variants thereof appear in a number of languages. The origin appears to be the word banaana in Wolof, if Wikipedia is to be trusted. This word is straightforward to adopt into ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
74 views

What evidence is there of a short vowel in the first syllable of "vallum"?

Two sources that I've come across indicate a long vowel /aː/ in the first syllable of the word vallum 'palisade wall' (that is, vāllum). This form is given in The Latin Language, by Charles E. ...
Asteroides's user avatar
  • 29.7k
6 votes
0 answers
121 views

What is the etymology of Ἁμαδρυάς (Hamadryas)? Is the second alpha actually long?

I am trying to find more information about the formation and pronunciation of the Greek noun Ἁμαδρυάς, taken into Latin as Hamadryas. L&S transcribes the second a of the Latin form with a macron: ...
Asteroides's user avatar
  • 29.7k
3 votes
0 answers
78 views

What is the nature of variation between αι and α in (Pre-)Greek words?

When trying to answer a previous question about the patronymic derived from Asclepius, I came across the following quotation from Beekes in the Wikipedia entry on Asclepius: The name is typical for ...
Asteroides's user avatar
  • 29.7k
6 votes
1 answer
147 views

An unambiguous example of 'īt'

The regular perfect them form for "he went" is iit. In an answer to this question about two short versus one long vowel, TKR mentions that this form can be contracted to īt. In a text without macrons ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
296 views

What is the evidence for a long vowel in χριστός "anointed" and Latin Christus?

The Greek word χριστός, used as a translation of Hebrew משיח "messiah", and meaning something like "anointed" (Liddell and Scott), apparently has a long vowel in the first syllable....
Asteroides's user avatar
  • 29.7k
8 votes
2 answers
452 views

What evidence points to a long ō in the first syllable of nōscō's present-tense form?

I've read in various sources that the verb nosco 'know' had a long vowel in the first syllable in Classical Latin pronunciation: nōscō [noːskoː]. I'm wondering what the linguistic evidence is for the ...
Asteroides's user avatar
  • 29.7k
5 votes
2 answers
344 views

Does any Greek word have a geminate consonant after a long vowel?

I recently noticed a pattern in loans from Hebrew into Greek: the letter šin (or sin, or łin if you're really archaic) is transcribed σσ after a short vowel, σ elsewhere. My knowledge of Classical ...
Draconis's user avatar
  • 68.3k
7 votes
0 answers
155 views

How many vowel qualities did Oscan have?

Oscan was an Italic language related to Latin, which died out somewhere in the early centuries CE. It's notable for being used in the Fabulae Atellanae and for being the source of various loans into ...
Draconis's user avatar
  • 68.3k
2 votes
2 answers
458 views

Where can I get a reliable list of words with macrons on?

When people are adding macrons to text, how do they know where the macrons should be? Is there a list somewhere? e.g. insula -> īnsula or īnsulā maxima -> maxima or māxima etc. I'd like to ...
John Lawrence Aspden's user avatar